They’ve restricted your searches and freed up access to 3rd level contacts – everyone’s scared and delighted!

Last year I blogged about recruiters not expecting a return on investment from LinkedIn.

I predicted (and so did my cat!) that the era for the free use of social media is coming to an end.  I suggested that recruitment leaders needed to get a handle on the value of, for example, LinkedIn to their workforce, their business process, and ultimately their bottom line.  Some people did this, most recruiters did not… what a situation!

Recruiter catastrophe!

Last week LinkedIn made what some recruiters see as a drastic change to their free system. Or rather they made several interesting changes:

  • They started to “ration” the amount of searches that users of their free system can do and some of my clients found themselves not being able to search 3 days into the month
  • LinkedIn opened up your 3rd level connections

Both changes were “announced” via an update to the help desk content. The screen that some of  my clients were lucky enough to get within a nano-second of coming back from Xmas suggest that they upgrade.

We’re doomed!

Recruiters were going a little mad, holes were opening up to the Earth’s crust, long dead giant predators were marauding the community and aliens were landing…. Or rather a very small, but incredibly active, section of the LinkedIn community were going totally nuts.  Some of them mailed me their screen shots in a panic.

I dug about a bit, contacted LinkedIn and was sent this link describing the change note the fact that you will have no idea what your limit is until you get to 30% left and then the Doomsday clock starts to get really loud!

Note too, though, that you can now see 3rd level connections.  This is awesome – but was met with derision by some of my contacts who already who invest in licences to see this data, or who are clever monkeys and can “get around” the system.

How very dare you ask me to pay for LinkedIn?

I blogged about this concept last year – that I feel that if you are to get value from LinkedIn you will eventually (perhaps today?) pay for access to it. Why is such a problem I wonder? I don’t go into Tesco grab an apple, eat it and walk out. So, do I think that recruiters need to pay for Linkedin? Absolutely – if they make money from it – and here lies the rub.

Are recruiters actually making money from LinkedIn?

I think it’s safe to state that most recruiters would have a hissing fit if LinkedIn was no longer an option for them.

But do they really have a handle on what fees they generate, candidates they source, clients they keep warm, brands they improve, vacancy opportunities they source, from LinkedIn?  What the average recruiter can get from LinkedIn is huge!  This is reflected in their responses to when it goes down (rarely) and when it updates (often).

When it comes to proof of return, though, I don’t see enough recruiters with stats and smiles.

I am a massive advocate of respecting LinkedIn. This is not born out of some weird altar I have in my house or any relationships I have with the business. Rather I respect tech which makes things possible and quick, even whilst sat on the toilet! (I’ve done a poll and lots of you recruiters do business on the loo!)

Get a grip on ROI, recruiters!

Why is it that so many recruitment leaders seem to be ok with the fact that their staff spend so long using kit, software, systems, without being able to prove ROI? I assume they are ok with it as they often don’t have a handle on it.

A recruiter’s day starts when they wake up and check their phones.  I bet that LinkedIn gets a good seeing to before the teeth are brushed. Who’s investing any real time fixing the “how much is LinkedIn worth to my business” conundrum? How do you feel about having your searches rationed?  Where do you think that the fee-paying model will stop with LinkedIn? Surely now is the time to add a value to LinkedIn so you can ascertain when it is ok for it to cost?

About Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.

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